This latest offering from Makunouchi Bento is a special one indeed - interpretation of and sound excursion into a few of their favorite classical compositions by such powerful and original composers as Erik Satie, Anton Arensky, Maurice Ravel., they hold nothing back while adapting them within the Mabento realm.
With its twists of melancholy, nostalgia, and even childlike amusement - Trcutu manages to hold onto a genuine historical and aesthetic interest found within some of the originals. At times picking up the melodies and running them through the spontaneity and textural styles of their own; while at others working not just from the originals but the influence and atmosphere felt by listening to them. Cover artwork by Guillaume Richard (kaneel). Gallery by Adrian Leverkuhn and Katharine Mahalic.
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August 19, 2005 Subject:
A dedication to classic music.
Makunouchi bento are already known in the netlabel scene as people always reconsidering their own works, evolving, twisting existing genres in their own interpretation. So it's quite obvious, after years experimenting into the electronic music, they finally came up with the decision of remixing some classics.
What you'll be able to enjoy is about how versatile can be this romanian duo! From ambient to electronica and idm, ending with a touch of videogamish sounding (aka chiptune), they are covering many of the genres they are known for doing with attitude, even adding a kind of oldschool spacey touch, so close to some of these retro futuristic movies.
You may not think that doing remixes of classic music composer is original, but believe it or no, the way they did it is so subtle and actual, remaining close to the original pieces, that you may get interested in the composers if you never heard about them.
I'll agree with Julez (see previous reviews), this is definitly not the best work we could hear from makunouchi bento, maybe a proof of their skills at "drawing pictures" and space elements, still, sounding great.
I will add that watching the pictures adds a certain mood, like, achieving the release.
(and well you can print the cover and pimp it around, i'm not the man that will say something against it eh :D)
July 6, 2005 Subject:
Trcutu by Makunouchi Bento is really a symbiosis of two forms of art: music and photography. One complements the other, enlivens, supports, enriches; the absence of one component, however, can destroy the transcendent connection.
Disregarding the technical proficiency of the pieces, one must be intrigued by their melancholy, harmony, emotiveness, nostalgia, composition and twisted sense of humor. Subjects (visual and aural) are treated in a unique way, preserving their organic authenticity, yet creating a totally new ambiance.
Musically, Trcutu effectively morphs the classics through the prism of ultra-modern electronic styles; however, on a few occasions, it looses its emotional charge through over-used samples and repetition. Nevertheless, the album works well as a whole, and with the addition of hauntingly beautiful photography, it becomes the perfect soundtrack for melancholic, self-indulging rainy days.
July 6, 2005 Subject:
The idea is not new. Since Wendy Carlos' "Moogification" of Bach and Beethoven's opuses(Switched on Bach/A Clockwork Orange OST) several electronic music composers have displayed their reverence to these old European or Russian composers whose portraits- hung on the walls of your Junior High's music room- seemed to give you an austere glance whilst you were in the middle of a very personal intepretation of the theme from Beethoven's 9th on the recorder.
Curd Duca has electronified Wagner's grandiloquent themes, Akira Rabelais has micro-processed Erik Satie's piano pieces, Stephan Mathieu and Ekkehard Ehlers have disintegrated Albinoni's Adagio,even Depeche Mode has covered Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and I doubt your cellphone does not come with a couple of these famous themes as tinny 8 bit FM ringtones.
Nonetheless, the fact that covering Classical music pieces is nothing new in itself does not in any way detract from Makunouchi Bento's approach's flavour. The Romanian duo gives to eleven more or less well known pieces their signature sonic treatment. The sound is rich and ample, glitchy and at times surprising. Good suprises come when the reverence is not too overdone which gives some of the tracks a very original and appealing feel. A couple of pieces are sadly a bit more disapointing. The cover of the first Gymnopédie clashes with the overall quality of the approach on the other pieces.The echoed piano notes and the pretty annoying stream water sample is a little irritating.
This album is probably not a milestone in the (prolific) discography of Makunouchi-Bento but comforts the quality of the work of a duo which has, over the years, delivered one of the most interesting sound to the electronic music scene and has always given a visual touch to their sonic experiments. The album comes with a series of beautiful photo works from Adrian Leverkuhn and Katharine Mahali and a subtly enigmatic cover from Kaneel.
July 4, 2005 Subject:
Makunouchi Bento at Their Best
Makunouchi Bento at their best. Top-notch release touching on a variety of styles including downtempo, classical, IDM, dark ambient, and glitch. Three standout tracks include: (2) "Prelude Op.63-10" for its magestic classical flavorings, beautiful melody, & minimal layer of glitch ; (4) "Gymopedie No.1" for its downtempo orchestral approach, gentle melody, and overall warmth ; and (10) "Trois Gnossimennes No.1" for its slow-moving, brooding dark ambience, discord, and samples which create a very disturing soundscape.